My name is Anna Desmarais, and I am the kind of person that prides myself with a busy life – packing in everything from journalism interviews to Skype meetings and sports into a 24 hour time span.
My lifestyle in Canada, however, has not prepared me for the challenges of getting ready for my 3 month Communications and Documentation internship in Nepal.
This is in part because I am not used to managing travel on my own. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have French-Canadian parents who would always pay for vacations abroad. Twenty years, twelve countries and two continents later, I find myself at a loss of where to begin. Do I bring a suitcase or a backpack? How do I get to the airport? What clothes do I bring? How do I act when I get there?
With twelve days left before departure, the excitement outweighs these questions most of the time. I’m looking forward to putting my three years of journalism school to good use with HIMAWANTI, an resource management organization in Lalitpur working towards policy solutions for access and equal distribution of resources among grassroots women.
I chose Nepal in particular because I knew nothing about its country, people, history or culture. Plus, most of the other Uniterra countries require French or Spanish for the placements- two languages I know very well. I wanted to broaden my horizons even more with an internship that I knew would be a challenge from various angles, including an obvious language barrier.
But I am more than ready to handle this challenge; so the countdown is on until I say Namaste to Nepal.